Objective Measurement of Listening Device Use and Its Relation to Hearing Acuity

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Objectives: To examine whether adolescents exceed recommended noise exposure limits when using personal listening devices (PLDs) and to investigate the relationship between objectively measured PLD use and hearing thresholds Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: This study was embedded within an ongoing prospective birth cohort study in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Data were collected from May 2017 to September 2019. Methods: A smartphone application was developed to measure daily noise exposure from PLDs. Listening habits were monitored among 314 adolescents with a mean age of 13 years 7 months (SD, 5 months), of whom 51.6% were male. Hearing acuity was measured by pure tone audiometry, and tympanometry was performed in both ears. Results: Within the study group, 2.2% adolescents exceeded the recommended daily noise dose (85 dBA as an 8-hour time-weighted average) among all days when the application was active and 9.9% when among only the listening days. No significant correlation was found between the daily noise dose from PLDs and pure tone thresholds. Conclusions: The majority of adolescents exhibited listening habits that could be considered safe. As noise-induced hearing loss develops slowly over time, it could be that the effects of PLD use on hearing are not evident yet in this young population with a relatively short duration of PLD use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-522
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number3
Early online dateMay 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding source:
The Generation R Study is made possible byfinancial support from the Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, theErasmus University Rotterdam, and the Netherlands Organizationfor Health Research and Development. The researchers are indepen-dent from the funders. The study sponsors had no role in the studydesign, data analysis, interpretation of data, or writing of this repor

Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2021.


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